Scared? So am I!



Fear.  I used to tell my daughter (and still do) that every human being deals with fears, and not every human being handles the feelings of fear the same way.

I love this topic because fear is awful. Fear is also powerful. Fear can drive us to bad decisions, bad changes, bad habits. Fear can also propel us forward. Fear can be the catalyst to not ‘going along’ when you don’t really feel like doing it another day. Fear can jolt us from complacency or stagnation.

I’m completing my first year in a new department at work.  New title. New supervisor. New teammates. New expectations. New software. New schedule. New responsibilities. Fearless? Try changing jobs within the company after being in the same role for almost eight years with the same team,  same boss, same job duties! I’ve managed. Not perfectly, but I’ve managed.

This year, I’ll be presenting a session focused on ways to really surprise your supervisor(s), and I mean that in a very positive way! when it comes time for  your annual review.  Annual reviews can make knees shake and self-doubts rise.  My goal is to give you tools and insights that will set fears to the side and allow your contributions to the organization to truly shine.

Honestly though, I am not afraid of sharing my IAAP Summit 2017 Ed Talk – and the topic  ‘Attitude of Gratitude’. It will be at 12:30 on Monday, July 24.  I’d love for you to stop by and hear it.  ~ K


I also invite you to read this great post by Dan Rockwell on his blog, LeadershipFreak-4 Forms of Stagnation That Destroy Leaders .

My favorite quote from the post?

Busy work is death incognito ~ Dan Rockwell

Day 5- Countdown -ExecSecLive- My Tribe of Career Teachers

My career started in academics where I was working for a law school in New York out on Long Island. I directly supported the Dean of Records– and he was not only a Dean, but he was also a Rabbi. Little did I know he would turn out to be my first career mentor. He helped me navigate the college policies and procedures as well as took time to explain the meanings and history of many Jewish holidays and customs as I was not raised in that faith.

Move forward to last month when I was working on a gratitude list — a list of people who had been part of, or had crossed my career path over the last 25 years, and a pattern began to emerge. I considered this list of people (and it’s a fairly extensive list) to be my career tribe.

Each person I consider to be a part of my career tribe has had most, if not all of the following qualities:

  • A significant amount of volunteer time dedicated to serving others
  • Had a hobby or interest that brought them great joy
  • A history of traveling to and/or living in multiple countries
  • Spoke at least one additional language
  • Was interested in learning what made other people feel good about themselves
  • Was interested in improving communications and work relationships — even if it made both parties uncomfortable
  • Did not mince words about their concerns
  • Kept in touch with colleagues that they no longer worked alongside
  • Actively participated in social and business groups for personal and professional development
  • Acknowledged their own career challenges

Now, I’m not in touch with the entire list on a regular basis, but I can tell you that I still have a connection at almost every single company where I have been employed.  I have been diligent about keeping a contact at each employer, even if it is purely a courtesy.  And my single most important work lesson from each of these persons has been key to shaping my career perspective – best phrased by The Rolling Stones.

See below:


 And it’s true…  I didn’t always get what I wanted, but I always got what I needed, whether it was a tough lesson, a superb review, thoughtful suggestions for improvement or a department transfer.  Do you have a tribe of career teachers?  Some of mine will be at #ExecSecLive in London. Can’t wait to give them a hug and tell them ‘Thank you’.

The Sassy Definition of Fear…

My good friends will say that fear is  False Evidence Appearing Real..but my truest and closest friends know that I call it the F* Everything And Run.

Not very mature, I know.

That’s the challenge of being genuine.  Sometimes I’m not very mature. Sometimes I suit up, make up and suck it up to be appear more ready than I am.  But, ready for what?  Frankly, I’m not that important. No one sits around and discusses Kemetia as much as the stupid tape reel in my head does!

What I do know is that when I share where I really am…who I am on a daily basis [sneakers, baseball cap, jeans, tshirt] my ability to connect with my peers and have a true interaction is there. When I tell someone that I’m still learning and growing and my teenager overhears the conversation, she knows it’s okay to not have all the answers.

I was raised in a household where a person’s value was equated to how many chores they completed, how much money they contributed to the finances of the household and how much shame or honor they brought from outside sources to the family name.

To this day, I still struggle with my value as a wife, daughter, sister and mother. If I relax, then I’m not contributing.  If I don’t make it to a goal, then I’m an embarrassment or failure. These absolute definitions allow no wiggle room for adjustment and to the panicky feeling of of fear (I must F* everything and run) Run, as in run away and never try again.

Of course, this is all in my noggin. I know better and growing older, living life on life’s terms has helped me come to realize that everyone experiences fear in some context of their life. They just might not experience it with my *definition* and that’s okay.

Each and every time I do something that is frightening or new or challenging, I am looking at FEAR and saying, “Hey!  I see you over there in the corner trying to intimidate me and I’m gonna do my thing anyway.  Later, dude!”

And by doing that, I just might be growing out of my sassy definition of fear.